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Don't Panic! Common Check Engine Light Triggers that Won't Break the Bank

Many people are quick to assume that the check engine light means they may as well bring their car to the junkyard. You'll want to think again. As long as you act quickly when the check engine light comes on you can rest easy knowing that the problem is more than likely not going to cost an arm and a leg. The following are five of the most common reasons that light will illuminate, and all of them, on average, cost less than $350. Most are far below that.

MAF Sensor

Perhaps the most expensive common check engine light problem is a failed Mass Air Flow sensor. This sensor measures volumes of incoming air and calculates how much of it needs to be mixed with the gas for a proper running engine. If it fails you'll see a major decrease in fuel economy.

O2 Sensor

Another sensor that helps ensure maximum miles per gallon is the oxygen sensor. Located in the exhaust system, the O2 sensor measures levels of oxygen in the emissions in order to help calculate the proper air/fuel ratio.


If the check engine light comes on and your car seems to be running sluggishly there's a good chance that it is misfiring. Misfiring is when the spark plugs are not firing at the right time, or at all. In this case you'll likely need to replace the spark plugs and the spark plug wires to restore the issue. In some circumstances it may be necessary to replace the ignition coils.

Failing Thermostat

The thermostat is tasked with regulating the flow of coolant inside the engine in order to regulate the operating temperature. If the thermostat fails due to improper cooling system maintenance, driving in extreme temperatures or some other reason, it is likely that the check engine light will come on.

Loose Gas Cap

The cheapest check engine light issue is finding out that the gas cap was loose! If the cap is loose or broken fuel vapors can escape, which means you're wasting gas you didn't even get a chance to use.

When the check engine light comes on don't hesitate to visit your local auto repair shop. For professional check engine light diagnostics in Morgan Hill visit the team at Fred's Foreign & Domestic Car Repair. Our experts will have you back on the road in no time. Call (408) 706-7318 to request professional auto repair in Morgan Hill, CA, today.

Freds Foreign and Domestic Car Repair Blog
Written By Brian Corey
Published By MORBiZ

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